Newton is really more diverse than one would think, ranging from the close quarters of 'The Lake' neighborhood of Nonantum to the lofty heights of Chestnut Hill and West Newton Hill. I've been helping people find rentals since 1983 and have yet to find an easy answer to this question. One great thing about Newton is that since it has been developed as a series of small centers along crossroads, it is very easy to live within walking distance of one of these Newton Villages. Thus, most of Newton is not a bedroom community, but an active city with a small town character and pride. If you need the green line, focus on Newton Centre, Newton Highlands, Waban, Auburndale and Chestnut Hill. Commuter rail or express bus is along Newton Corner, Newtonville and West Newton/Auburndale. Great schools are everywhere. Most rentals are along the corridor of the Mass Pike, the norther neighborhoods, and parts of Rt 9 (Upper Falls). Many apartments are in two family homes as opposed to buildings, with more green space and neighborhood feel than a large apartment building. My suggestion: grab a large Dunkin' and spend the morning zig zagging through the streets and stop in the villages and walk around a while. When it feels right, you'll know.